Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady announced today that Juan Louis
Peralez, 50, was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for Felony Arson.
On August 15,
2016, officers with the Texas City Police Department were called to multiple
disturbances at an apartment complex. While searching for a possible suspect or
witness in the disturbances, TCPD Officer Dricks saw Peralez near the entrance
of the Kroger grocery store. Peralez was standing at a cage of propane tanks
and appeared to be lighting something on fire that was stuck inside the cage.
The officer approached Peralez and ordered him to move away from the cage and
get to the ground because the item stuck inside the cage was visibly on fire.
searched and was found holding a lighter and a can of lubrication spray. Inside
the cage of propane tanks was found burnt paper that had been covered with a
suspected accelerant before being set on fire.
September 18, 2017, Peralez’ jury trial began in the 56th District Court.
Peralez faced a punishment range of 2 to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Yesterday afternoon, shortly before closing arguments were to begin during the
guilty phase of trial, Peralez changed his plea to guilty and agreed to the
State’s punishment recommendation of 15 years in the Institutional Division of
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Peralez will have to serve at least
one-fourth of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
Peralez was prosecuted by Assistant District
Attorneys Charlotte Kim and Kayla Allen in the 56th District Court, with Judge
Lonnie Cox presiding. The investigation was conducted by the Texas City Police